Sister of Dutch Colombian guerrilla urges her to surrender

7th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

The older sister of Dutch-born Colombian guerrilla Tanja Nijmeijer urged her sibling, in a video broadcast Saturday, to abandon her life as a rebel before she is killed.

Tanja Nijmeijer is a former schoolteacher who joined the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2002 and has since risen to its top ranks.

"Hello Sam. This is your interfering sister," said the guerrilla's older sister Marloes Nijmeijer in the video, which aired on local media.

"I've been in Colombia for some time and I'd like to tell you something: you're alive right now, but there is a good chance that you won't survive. You know it. I'm telling you: leave before it's too late," said Marloes, speaking in Dutch.

"Leave, and that way you can do something truly constructive for this country," she said.

"Sam, you know that you are a well known figure in the world, even if you didn't want that. But if you get out of there you could denounce violence.

"You say that you want a more just society, but in reality what you are doing is resulting in more injustice among the Colombian people. Instead of helping, you are doing more damage," Marloes added.

The video was broadcast initially on Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Marloes Nijmeijer's appeal was broadcast after Colombian media aired a clip Wednesday in which Tanja Nijmeijer says that she will never leave the rebels.

"I am a FARC guerrilla and will continue being a guerrilla until I win or die. There's no going back," she told freelance Colombian journalist Jorge Enrique Botero.

Speaking in Spanish, Tanja Nijmeijer wore green fatigues and carried a machine gun slung over her shoulder for the interview, which was posted on the Radio Netherlands website.

Code-named "Alexandra," Nijmeijer is believed to have served as personal assistant to Jorge Briceno, a top FARC commander who was killed in a September government raid on his hideout.

An email dated April 5 and addressed to Briceno noted that Nijmeijer had joined the FARC's international team, a sort of foreign affairs ministry for the rebels.

According to Colombian authorities, Nijmeijer is the only European fighting with the guerrillas.

© 2010 AFP

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